Covid-19 infections continue to decline in Wales
Covid-19 infections are continuing to fall in Wales, according to the latest data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The number of people In Wales testing positive for COVID-19 in the ONS’s infection survey for the week ending 1 November was 72,400, equating to 2.38% of the population, or around 1 in 40 people.
This week’s figures are 7% down on the previous survey, when an estimated 77,500 people tested positive.
Infections in Wales have now declined for the last three weeks.
According to the ONS, Covid-19 infections have also fallen England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, marking the first time all four UK nations have recorded a drop in infections in nearly three months.
The total number of people in private households in the UK testing positive for coronavirus stood at 1.5 million in the latest study, down 18% from 1.9 million in the previous week.
Hospital numbers are also continuing to drop across the country, with health experts praising the autumn booster campaign for helping to prevent high levels of serious illness.
The current wave looks to have peaked at just over two million infections in mid-October – some way below the peak of nearly four million reached in early July, during the wave caused by the Omicron BA.4/BA.5 variants of the virus.
A mix of Omicron variants have been driving the latest wave, all of which are being monitored for their potential to spread rapidly, though none have yet been designated variants of concern.
Sarah Crofts, ONS deputy director for the Covid-19 infection survey, said the new figures showed the picture across the UK was “generally a positive one”, with infections falling in every nation for the first time 10 weeks.
“Infections have decreased in all age groups in England, including the over-70s, which are still among the highest infected,” she added.
“There was also a decrease in infections among these older ages in Wales, though the trend is uncertain in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
“We will continue to monitor the data as we move through winter.”
In England, the number of people testing positive for coronavirus in the week to November 1 was 1.3 million, or around one in 40 people, down from 1.6 million the previous week, or one in 35.
It is the second week in a row that England has seen a drop.
In Northern Ireland, the latest estimate for infections is 39,900, or one in 45 people, down sharply from 61,200, or one in 30.
Scotland has seen infections fall to 107,300, or one in 50 people, down from 141,400, or one in 35.
Scotland now has the lowest prevalence of the virus of all four UK nations.
The ONS infection survey is regarded as the most reliable measure of the prevalence of coronavirus and is based on a sample of swab tests from households across the UK.
Dr Mary Ramsay, director of public health programmes at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: “It is hugely encouraging that Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations are still in decline across the UK.
“This goes to show how effective the vaccine programme continues to be and we thank everyone who has come forward for their latest vaccination so far.
“However, it is still vital that anyone who has not had their booster this autumn does so as soon as possible. Vaccination is still the best way to protect yourself, your family and the NHS, particularly as we head into winter.”
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